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Discussions - Chapter 17

 
 
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Discussions - Chapter 17

 

By Kudara

 

Disclaimer: All the characters appearing in Gargoyles are copyright Buena Vista Television/The Walt Disney Company.  No infringement of these copyrights is intended as this is a not for profit fan fiction work.  All original characters are the property of the author.

 

Warning: none

 

Notes:   Dominique Destine’s home, and the character’s Candice and Gregory are from ‘The Gargoyles Saga’ world and adapted for use in this story.  Song lyrics from “Christmastime,” by the Smashing Pumpkins.

 

Rating:  Teen

 

Feedback: Always welcome, feedback is what encourages me to keep writing.  Please let me know what you like and what you dislike about the story.

 

Revision History: 09/25/08

 

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Thursday, December 25th 1997

 

Morning – Destine Manor, Forest Hills Gardens, Long Island

 

Dominique leaned back into Kendra, savoring the warmth and feel of her lover’s body behind her and then the embrace of her lover’s arms as they wrapped around her waist.  The radio was playing music in the background and the space underneath the gaily decorated fir tree was almost full with colorfully wrapped gifts, several of which had been brought first by Margaret and then Macbeth, who had stayed the night, and then driven home this morning to change clothes and pick up gifts before returning.  Dominique had noticed Robert looking at the wrapped presents before breakfast, his expression a curious mixture of embarrassment, anticipation and curiosity as the young man realized how many of the gifts had his name on them.  The dark bruising on his face looked much better this morning, the result of the time she had taken yesterday afternoon to heal as much of the damage as she thought prudent.  It would be too suspicious for it to heal overnight.

 

Breakfast was done now, and everyone had moved to the living room to gather around the fir tree and the presents it watched over.  Margaret was handing out the gifts and the redhead smiled as she watched Robert open the computer game Kendra had bought him yesterday morning.  Rachael, Kendra and she hadn’t had much time to do any shopping for gifts before the court hearing, but they had managed to get a few things to put underneath the tree for the young man.  He looked excited for a few seconds before his face fell, “I don’t think I can play this on my computer,” he said disappointedly.  Dominique grimaced; she didn’t know why she had been surprised to find out that the computer Edward had been so intent on keeping wasn’t that up-to-date, the only reason to claim it had been that all of Robert’s schoolwork was on it.

 

“Why don’t you open the biggest package next,” Margaret and Kendra said almost together and Dominique smiled in amusement at the two of them.  She knew that Kendra had snuck upstairs to call Margaret after seeing the computer Robert had been using.  The redhead looked on curiously as the large wrapped box was placed before the young man, she suspected she knew what it contained.

 

Robert’s grey eyes widened as he pulled the brightly colored wrapping paper away from the box, “Oh wow,” he exclaimed.  Dominique’s eyebrows rose as she saw the picture on the front.  It certainly didn’t look like any computer she had ever seen before, the curving lines of the case, gleaming black paint and blue lighting on the front seemed more at home on a sports car than a computer.

 

“I believe that computer will have no problems handling your new game,” Kendra said, sounding rather smug.

 

“I would think so from the way it looks,” Rachael commented from where she was sitting by Macbeth.  Without turning her head and making it obvious that she was looking at them, Dominique eyed the two.  They seemed to be getting along rather well.  Certainly when given the choice, both Rachael and Macbeth seemed to prefer each other’s company to anyone else’s.

 

Another package was placed in front of Robert, when he opened it; it turned out to be a matching monitor for his new computer.  “You didn’t have to, my old monitor’s fine,” he protested, obviously embarrassed by the gifts.

 

Margaret grinned at Kendra, “But we wanted to.”

 

“You’ll just have to suffer thru having a screaming gaming box,” Kendra added teasingly.

 

Dominique’s lips curved upward and she shook her head minutely at their banter, leaning back further into Kendra’s embrace and enjoying how the black haired woman’s arms tightened around her.  

 

“Well my gift can’t top that, but I think you’ll find it more useful for work and school,” Macbeth said as he pointed out a smaller box underneath the tree.  Kendra starting to hum softly behind her distracted Dominique from the scene, and she wondered why until she realized that her lover was humming along with the song that had just started playing on the radio.

 

We watch the children playing,
Beside the Christmas tree,
The presents are wrapped up,
It's beautiful, and secretly the gifts still hide,
The fun awaits for you inside.

 

The redhead smiled, the song was rather appropriate.  She watched as Margaret placed the gold foil wrapped gift on Robert’s lap, and he began pulling the wrapping paper away revealing the box for a fifteen-inch ultra light laptop.  “Oh that is nice,” Kendra commented.


Christmastime has come,
There'll be toys for everyone,
Cause Christmastime has come for you.


It certainly had, Dominique reflected, the only thing that could make this moment more perfect for her would be for Angela to be here, but it was daylight and her daughter was sleeping in her stone form.  At least Angela was talking to her once again, and that was a wonderful gift in and of itself considering their past.


I remember dreaming,
Wishing, hoping, praying for this day,
Now I sit and watch them,
The little ones I love, so excited by the wait.

 

The words of the song caused a poignant lump in Dominique’s throat, she and Kendra would never be able to experience watching their own children opening their presents on a morning like this.  What would they look like, she wondered, would they have her red hair or Kendra’s black, or a shade in between such as auburn or brown?  She pushed the wistful thoughts away after a moment, there was no use wishing for what could never be.

Christmastime has come,
There'll be toys for everyone,
Cause Christmastime has come for you.

 

“Dominique,” Margaret’s voice was a welcome distraction, “This is for you and its rather heavy so come here.”

 

Behind her Kendra whispered, “Merry Christmas my love,” giving the redhead an idea of who had gotten her a gift.  Of course, there was a package underneath the tree for Kendra as well, and Dominique hoped that her lover would like the diamond and onyx platinum bracelet the redhead had made to go with the onyx necklace Rachael had given Kendra.  The gold and red wrapped package was heavy; Dominique gave Kendra a quizzical look, but only got an amused smirk in return.

And now the word is given,
It's time to peek inside,
It's time to let the toys out,
So anxious for your look of joy and delight,
Waiting for just your surprise.

 

So soft and supple, the redhead caressed the brown leather of her new jacket before lifting it from its box to see that it was the same high collared style as the jacket Kendra usually wore.  “I thought you might like one of your own since you keep borrowing mine,” Kendra’s sapphire eyes were twinkling with amusement.

 

“I like how yours smells,” Dominique responded before her brain caught up with what she was admitting in front of everyone.  She blushed, and tried to ignore the amused looks she was getting.

 

Kendra sauntered over to her and bent down to whisper in her ear, “I’ll wear yours every once in a while then.”  Gentle fingers lifted her chin and warm lips covered her own, and Dominique lowered the jacket to her lap so that she could reach up and pull Kendra closer.  When their lips parted, they both tilted their heads forward just enough for their foreheads to meet for a moment.

Christmastime has come,
There’ll be toys for everyone,
Cause Christmastime has come for you.

 

 

Late Morning – Destine Manor, Forest Hills Gardens, Long Island

 

Macbeth had left after lunch, and Margaret was only staying for another hour or so before heading back to Kendra’s apartment to change and go out to a production at the Metropolitan Opera.  Currently it was quiet in the living room as Kendra, Margaret, Rachael and Robert were all in Robert’s room setting up his new computer.

 

Dominique hadn’t been to the spirit realm for a few days, not since Robert’s phone call the night his uncle had attacked him.  She had no doubt that the Ancient One was aware of what was happening with Robert and his family, but that wasn’t precisely the reason she was taking this quiet moment to seek him out.  She needed to discuss with the spirit how she was feeling about what was going on, the anger she felt towards Edward Collins for striking Robert, the desire to hurt the man, despite the fact that she knew Robert wasn’t interested in any revenge and certainly wouldn’t approve of her hurting his uncle.

 

“Chosen,” the Ancient One’s voice greeted her the moment she entered the spirit realm. 

 

She stared at him, surprised that he had been waiting for her; she had expected to have to go looking for him.  “How did you know?”

 

“I do not know your thoughts chosen, but I can sense when you desire my presence if that desire is strong enough,” he answered calmly.

 

“I do need to speak with you,” the redhead acknowledged, troubled.  This time she didn’t need a reminder or encouragement to walk up to the Irish Elk and look into his great brown eyes.  When the connection between them ended, Dominique took in a steadying breath, the memories of how helpless she had felt listening to Robert’s aunt stopping her husband from further attacking Robert hadn’t been pleasant to relive.  The entire time she had known that Kendra and she were at least fifteen to twenty minutes away from Robert’s house and there was nothing she could do if Robert’s aunt failed, except hope the local police arrived there in time to stop him from badly hurting the young man.

 

“You are very protective of your clan my chosen,” the Ancient One commented.  Dominique frowned, that wasn’t quite the response she had expected.  For one thing, it wasn’t something that she didn’t already know.  “Do you feel that you succeeded or failed in protecting the young Owl’s chosen?”

 

The question following on the spirit’s initial statement surprised her, “I failed,” she replied bitterly, glancing away from the Irish Elk.

 

“Is he not safe now?” the Ancient One asked mildly.

 

She looked back over at him, taking in the calm way the great stag stared at her.  It aggravated her; the spirit didn’t seem to be taking this very seriously.  “Now,” she replied unhappily, “but he was hurt and I didn’t do anything to prevent that.”

 

“You believe you could have predicted the other gargoyle’s actions?” the Ancient One asked yet another mildly stated question.  Dominique grimaced, she knew she couldn’t, what Brooklyn had done had been entirely unexpected.  “You are upset because you could not protect the young Owl’s chosen from his uncle.  In part, your desire to seek out and punish this human stems from the feeling that you need to do something to erase what you see as your failure.”

 

Dominique stared at him, a crease between her brows as she thought about what he had said.  Slowly she nodded once in assent, “That is part of it,” she agreed reluctantly, it certainly was not all of the reason for what she was feeling and thinking.

 

“What would have been your response before the Weird Sisters enchantments were removed?”

 

His next question surprised her, but the redhead didn’t even need to spend any time thinking about the answer, “I would have killed him.”

 

“Yet he is still alive, and you truly have no intentions of killing or maiming him, despite your thoughts,” the great stag pointed out. 

 

She frowned at him, “I’m not so certain of that,” she disagreed.  She wouldn’t have bothered him with this if she wasn’t worried about just that possibility.

 

“Would the young Owl’s chosen trust you if you did kill or hurt his uncle?”

 

“No,” she whispered, “I would lose it, just as I lost my daughters’ trust when I lied to her.”  She turned away from his gaze that was too perceptive for her to face right now.

 

“You will not break your promise to him chosen, that is why your thoughts are what they are,” she sensed him moving closer.  His next words were from right behind her, “because you know that in your thoughts is the only place you can punish him for his actions,” his tone was not judgmental, but matter of fact.

 

Her shoulders slumped, the Ancient One was right, she already knew that Robert wouldn’t chose to punish his uncle.  He seemed to be focusing on putting the past behind him and enjoying the relative freedom of her home.  She knew he had visited the Wise One last night, he had mentioned it to her briefly this morning before Macbeth arrived.  The most she suspected he would agree to would be to try and get back the money his uncle had stolen from his trust fund.

 

“You were incorrect before my chosen,” the great stag spirit remarked.  His statement interrupted the redhead’s less than happy thoughts; Dominique frowned, wrong about what exactly?  She turned around and looked at him inquiringly.  “What you dismissed as impossible this morning will not be beyond your abilities once you become skilled enough in manipulating life energy,”

 

“What?” she stared at him, her mind was coming up with just one possibility for what he was talking about, but surely that couldn’t be true.

 

His ears flickered once, “It is not impossible for you and the young Jaguar’s chosen to have offspring,” he stated, each word pronounced very carefully.

 

“What?” she repeated her question numbly; unable to believe she was hearing what she was hearing.  The Ancient One stared at her for a moment and then shook his head, his ears flickered a few times and then stilled as he watched her patiently.  Offspring, children, she remembered her earlier thoughts as she watched the joy on Robert’s face as he opened his presents.  Would her and Kendra’s children be human or gargoyle or something in between?  “But she’s human and I’m gargoyle…how?”

 

“You would bring suitable genetic material from both of you into close proximity and then encourage them to combine,” the Irish Elk suggested mildly.

 

“Suitable…” the redhead’s mind finally caught up and she fell silent thinking about what he was saying.  “Ova fusion?”

 

The stag spirit seemed to consider the words a moment before responding, “Correct.”

 

Dominique felt like sitting down, but wasn’t certain the ghostly images of the furniture would actually hold her.  “The fact that we’re of different species wouldn’t matter?” she pressed for clarification on the issue.

 

“Once you are skilled enough in the manipulation of life energy, it will not be beyond your ability to overcome the difficulties caused by the genetic differences between you.”  Dominique frowned, that wasn’t one of the most enlightening of answers she had ever gotten from the spirit.  “You will better understand how it may be accomplished as your skill grows my chosen,” he reassured her.

 

The redhead grimaced; she wanted an answer now, but understood what he was saying.  Much about what she was learning from the Ancient One she couldn’t see herself really understanding three weeks ago.

 

In an abrupt change of subject, the great stag observed, “I believe we have time for a lesson.”  Dominique stared at him incredulously, he expected her to be able to concentrate on a lesson after informing her it was possible for Kendra and she to have children?  “You have learned how to add heat and excite the bonds between molecules during your last lesson.  Now you will learn how to manipulate those bonds to change the nature of the lattice structure and thus the properties of the material,” the Ancient One began, apparently he did, the redhead realized.

 

Kendra’s faintly concerned face was the first thing Dominique saw when she opened her eyes thirty minutes later.  “Hey,” the black haired woman said softly, “I didn’t realize you needed to go to the spirit realm today.”

 

“I needed to speak to the Ancient One,” the redhead explained absentmindedly.  Robert’s uncle and her vengeful feelings against him seemed so unimportant to her now.  She stared into her lover’s features, thinking about what the spirit had told her.  “Where is everyone else?”

 

“They decided to start lunch,” the black haired woman responded, glancing over toward the hallway leading to the kitchen.

 

“Good because I need to talk with you,” Dominique sat up from where she had been leaning against the couch arm.

 

Kendra looked startled, “Alright,” she replied, her confusion apparent as she stepped back so the redhead could rise.

 

“Let’s go upstairs to our room,” the redhead said as she rose from the couch.  She reached out and took Kendra’s hand, wanting the connection with the black haired woman and started leading her out of the living room toward the stairs.

 

“Dominique?” Kendra questioned, staring at the redhead in confusion even as she allowed herself to be pulled along behind her.

 

The redhead shook her head, “Upstairs,” she repeated firmly.  She didn’t want anyone else overhearing this conversation, no matter who they were.  What she had to talk about should be private between them until they decided otherwise.

 

Once they were in the bedroom, Dominique shut the door behind them and turned around to face Kendra.  “This morning, that song you were humming to…” she paused and Kendra’s frown intensified along with the bewilderment in her blue eyes.  “Part of the lyrics mentioned children and I began wondering what…if it were possible of course, what our children would look like.”

 

Kendra’s expression softened, “What does that have to do with the Ancient One?”

 

Dominique took in a deep breath, “I must have shared that along with the other things that were concerning me.”  The black haired woman’s head tilted questioningly when she didn’t immediately continue.  “The Ancient One told me that it wasn’t impossible for us.  I can’t do it yet, but he believes I will be able to use life energy to fuse an ova from me with an ova from you,” she finally said in a rush.

 

Kendra stared at her, her face revealing plainly her astonishment.  It made Dominique feel better, at least she wasn’t the only one dumbfounded by it.  “Children?  You and I?  Our children?” the questions were spoken in tones of disbelief.  Dominique nodded, in the next instant she was wrapped up in Kendra’s arms, “Our children,” there was belief there now.

 

“Our children,” the redhead confirmed, returning the embrace tightly and resting her cheek on her lover’s shoulder.

 

“Well…” Kendra began and then hesitated a moment pulling far enough away to look down into Dominique’s face,  “You said once that you thought I was the one you wanted to be your mate, do you still feel that way?”

 

The redhead’s green eyes widened in surprise at the question, she looked into her lover’s sapphire blue eyes, saw the seriousness there, “I’m more certain than ever that I do,” she replied.  Kendra gently pulled away to kneel down in front of her.  For a moment, the redhead remembered Macbeth doing the same thing, but this was not at all like that time, her love for Kendra was not a lie and a carefully planned deception.

 

“Demona, I never realized how lonely and empty my life had gotten until you came into it and filled all those empty places with shared joys, laughter and love.  Whenever I think of the future now, I always think of you with me.  Will you be there?  Will you be my mate and my partner?”

 

This was not something the gargoyle in human form needed to think about; after all in the privacy of her own mind she had been thinking of Kendra as her mate already, “Yes, I will.”

 

 

Friday, December 26th 1997

 

Early Morning - Nightstone Unlimited HQ, Lower East Side Manhattan

 

“Good morning Candice,” Dominique said as she walked by her secretary’s desk on the way to her office. 

 

“Good morning…” Candice looked up from the work she was doing and paused in surprise as she noticed first that her employer was not alone, and second how the redhead was dressed, “Ms. Destine,” she finished sounding bemused.  Candice had never seen the woman in anything less than an expensive skirt suit the entire time she had been working here.  Today though, Dominique Destine, owner and CEO of Nightstone Unlimited, was wearing black jeans, a scarlet shirt, black boots and a nut-brown leather jacket.

 

Robert offered the African American woman behind the desk a shy smile, “Good morning Mrs. Greene,” he said politely.  He was dressed as casually as Dominique, and was in his new wheelchair, the one she had gotten for him to use in school.

 

“Good morning…” Candice’s voice trailed off, she had no idea who the curly haired young man in the wheelchair was except for remembering seeing him on the news with Ms. Destine the night the Quarrymen had attacked her.

 

“Robert,” the young man offered.

 

“Good morning Robert,” Candice smiled back at him.

 

“Oh yes,” Dominique turned around and came back to stand beside Robert’s wheelchair, placing a hand on his shoulder, “Candice this is Robert McKenzie he will be working with Ms. Canmore as her intern this summer.”  She paused and looked down at him thoughtfully for a moment before turning back to her secretary, “He’s also living with me, and in my temporary custody, so if he ever calls or comes by and needs anything find me and let me know,” she said firmly.

 

Her secretary stared at her nonplused for a second before managing to respond, “Certainly, Ms. Destine.  Oh, Ms. Destine, you had a phone call this morning from a Mr. Robinson, he asked that you contact him as soon as possible.  Here’s his number,” she held out the yellow slip with the message and number on it.

 

For a second the redhead’s face was expressionless, and then she took the offered slip with a nod, “Thank you Candice.”  She turned to the young man in the wheelchair, “Robert.”  He wheeled his wheelchair around and followed her into her office, turning and closing the door behind him once he was inside.

 

Quietly he asked, “Wayne Robinson?”

 

Dominique, who was walking towards her desk, replied without looking back at him, “Yes, I contacted him about something a few days ago.  I suspect he has an answer for me.”  She sat down in her chair, and looked over at him, “You’ll have to speak louder than that for Candice to overhear you.  My office is fairly soundproof.”  He gave her a curious look, so she explained, “My transformations used to be fairly painful and I couldn’t have the security guards doing their rounds rushing in here to see what was wrong with me.”

 

“Oh,” Robert said quietly with a dismayed expression.

 

The redhead smiled reassuringly, “It’s alright, I barely feel it now.”  He looked relieved at that and she motioned for him to come further into the room, “I need to call Wayne back, but it shouldn’t take very long.  Once that’s done and I check my email, I can show you around the laboratories, most of the researchers are on vacation, but there should be a few in today including my Research and Development Division manager Mr. Jean Pierre.”

 

“Ok,” the young man acknowledged as he rolled his wheelchair across the floor toward the window that was the entire exterior wall of her office.

 

Dominique dialed the number Candice had written down, and the phone rang only twice before it was picked up.  “Wayne Robinson, Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

 

“Good morning Wayne.”

 

“Good morning Dominique,” well at least he sounded cheerful, the redhead thought, “I just wanted to let you know that the FBI will be sending an investigator early next week to work with your IT staff about Mr. Thailog’s embezzlement of funds from your company.”

 

“Ah,” she smiled, that must mean that Wayne could find no evidence that one Mr. Thailog was anything other than human.  “That is good news,” she paused briefly, “and the other matter?”

 

“I’m still working on the paperwork you sent me.  It’s pretty complete, but you did leave a few things blank that needed to be filled out for completeness,” he replied.

 

Dominique grimaced, that meant he had found some holes in her human identity, “Thank you for helping me with it.”

 

“As I said, its good practice for us,” he said gruffly.  The redhead smiled slightly at his answer, thinking that he really didn’t do well with thanks.  “I heard you have a new houseguest,” it was a rather obvious change of subject.

 

“I do,” she looked over at Robert who had gone to the window to stare out at the city.

 

“Good job on calling the local police to protect him since you couldn’t get there immediately and getting him out of that situation so quickly,” he said approvingly.  Dominique’s eyebrow rose at how well informed the Wolf’s chosen was, Margaret had said that gossip made its way around the chosen quickly, but this seemed excessive. 

 

“Hey, Wayne did you find out… oh sorry, didn’t realize you were on the phone,” a male voice said in the background.

 

“Mmm,” Wayne murmured, then apologetically he said, “Dominique I need to go, if anything comes up I’ll give you another call.”

 

The redhead frowned, there were a few things she still wanted to ask him, “At another time could you let me know what was left blank in the documents I sent you?” 

 

“When I get done with everything, sure,” he agreed readily.  “I may have missed a few, so I want to go over it again when I get done with the one’s I found.”

 

“Alright, have a good day Wayne,” she told him.

 

“You too,” he replied and then hung up the phone.

 

Dominique shook her head, looked over at Robert who had rolled his wheelchair away from the window and toward her desk when he heard her hang up the phone, “Let me check my email and then we can go downstairs,” she reminded him.  He nodded, and turned back to the window.

 

There were a few messages in her inbox, but nothing that couldn’t wait till next week for a reply.  There was really only one thing she really needed to do, and Dominique spent a minute typing out a tersely worded request for Jordan Conrad to meet with her at nine on Monday morning to discuss the accounting irregularities the IT Division manager had found.  Once the message was sent, the redhead shut down her mail client and logged out, “All done, let’s go.”

 

 

Outside Nightstone Unlimited and then El Parador Café, Lower East Side Manhattan

 

Elisa had gotten lucky in spotting the distinctive wheelchair accessible limousine waiting outside Nightstone.  She found a parking space where she could watch it and waited, suspecting that the vehicle wouldn’t be double-parked there if the driver wasn’t expecting Ms. Destine and Robert shortly.  She was right, and as soon as Demona and Robert were inside the vehicle and it pulled out into traffic the detective began following it hoping that the fact that it was noon meant that they were going to meet Kendra for lunch.

 

When the limousine pulled up outside of a well-known Mexican restaurant, she knew at least part of her hunch was correct, but were Demona and Robert eating alone or were they meeting Kendra here?  She looked around the area; there were no open parking spaces, no surprise given the time.  “Jalapena,” she muttered knowing that she would have to spend time finding a parking space.

 

Fifteen minutes later, Elisa knew she had been fortunate to get a seat where she could see the table where Demona’s group was seated without it being too obvious that she was observing them.  Demona had met more than just Kendra for lunch, Elisa recognized Rachael, who had been in the courtroom the other day and the woman Owen had named Margaret from the newscast.  The only person who wasn’t there that the detective remembered seeing with Demona that night on the news was the young shorthaired brunette. 

 

Watching the other table, Elisa felt like she had dropped into some odd Twilight Zone episode as she saw the waiter deliver glasses and a pitcher of beer to the table along with margaritas for all the women.  At least Robert looked like he was getting some type of cola.  She had offhandedly discounted Margot Yale’s comment about Dominique Destine’s table being the party table at the restaurant when the woman had mentioned it to Captain Chavez.  Looking at the drinks the waiter was placing in front of all the women, and what certainly seemed to be the general jovial mood of all of them, including a smiling Demona, was making her reconsider that.

 

“Can I get you something from the bar ma’am or perhaps a Pepsi or Sprite or water?” the waiter asked her as he came up to the table, startling her since all of her attention had been focused on Demona and the others at her table.

 

“Pepsi will be fine,” she told him.  He went away and she picked up her menu, she had been here a few times before and enjoyed the food, at least she would eat well while she was waiting for a chance to speak to Kendra alone.  When the waiter came back with her drink, she gave him her order and waited until he had left before turning her attention back to Demona’s table.  Robert seemed to be the focus of the women’s attention as he talked animatedly about some subject.  In sharp contrast to how timid and afraid he had sounded the night of his injury, he looked happy and confident now as the center of their attention.  The young man’s face looked much better today than it had the day before Christmas when she had seen him in the courtroom, the bruise was still very noticeable, but it was already starting to fade.

 

As for the redheaded woman at the table carefully dipping a chip into the chili con queso and carefully lifting it to her mouth, Demona was watching him with a pleased, fond expression that the detective had never seen on the woman’s face before.  Glaring, sneering, superior, angry, hateful… those were the expressions she was used to seeing on the redhead’s face, not the soft caring one she was seeing now.  Elisa turned her attention back to her own drink with a slight shake of her head, had the spells the Weird Sisters placed on the gargoyle really made so much of a difference in the blue-skinned female’s personality that she would act so completely different now from how the detective remembered?  She frowned uneasily, was this the gargoyle Goliath had fallen in love with?  She glanced over at the other table and the warmly smiling red haired woman sitting there, if this was who Demona had been before she became so bitter and angry, no wonder Goliath had tried so hard for so long to reach her before giving up.

 

Elisa’s own food arrived shortly after the food for the other table and she turned her attention to it inhaling the rich aromas from the enchiladas’ red chili sauce as her stomach woke up and decided it was hungry.  Besides, nothing much was happening right now at Demona’s table as they focused on their food as well.

 

She had just finished her meal when noise from the other table drew her attention.  From the way the tall woman named Margaret was raising her glass and toasting Demona and Kendra, Elisa could guess that she was congratulating them about something, but what?  As the detective was watching for some clue to make sense of what she was seeing, Elisa saw Demona look over at Kendra Canmore with an expression on her face that stunned the detective.  The last time she had seen an expression anything like that on the gargoyle’s face, it had been directed toward Thailog.  Her mind seemed frozen for a moment grappling with the reality of what she had just witnessed; the rumors couldn’t possibly be true could they?  In the next instant, it was gone as the redhead directed a glare toward Margaret that didn’t look very serious considering that Demona was also smiling.  Had she really seen it?  Elisa immediately began questioning herself, Goliath seemed so very certain that gargoyles weren’t homosexual.

 

“Are you finished with your meal ma’am?” the waiter asked as he walked up, looking at her empty plate.

 

Elisa glanced at it, “Yes.”  She needed more time, “could I see the desert menu please?” 

 

The dark haired man nodded, “Certainly, I’ll be right back with it,” he efficiently stacked her silverware on her empty plate and took it away with him.

 

The detective glanced over at Demona’s table, her eyes going back and forth between the redhead and the black haired, blue-eyed woman.  She thought about what David and Fox Xanatos had said about Kendra Canmore spending her nights at Demona’s house, about the Tattler linking the two together after they arrived and danced together at Nightstone’s Christmas party, and about the expression she had just seen on the redhead’s face.  If Goliath wasn’t so certain, she knew what she would think by now, and that was as unbelievable as it seemed Demona had a human lover, a human lover that was a woman.

 

Elisa shook her head slowly as she considered that thought, it didn’t seem possible.  How could Demona change so much and so quickly that less than four weeks after being freed of the Weird Sister’s spells she would accept a human as her lover?  She frowned, her memories nagging at her about something that had been bothering her for a while.  Her gaze went to the olive skinned woman, who was laughing at something Rachael had said, was Kendra Canmore entirely human?  There had to be some reason she kept reacting to the blue-eyed woman the way she did, it just wasn’t normal the way Kendra could put her on edge.  Even Oberon hadn’t frightened her as much as Kendra had that first night she had spoken to the black haired woman outside Nightstone.

 

She caught sight of her waiter returning, a tall slim menu in hand, and turned back to her table.  “Thank you,” she said as he handed her the desert menu.

 

“You’re welcome ma’am, I’ll be back shortly to take your order,” he replied before moving off to check on another table.

 

She glanced back toward Demona’s table and stared into Kendra Canmore’s narrowed blue eyes; she froze for a second and then fought with her desire to flush.  There was nothing wrong with her sitting here, she reminded herself forcibly.  It wasn’t as if she had made an effort to hide after all, she was sitting in plain sight of Demona’s table.

 

Elisa saw Kendra lean over and whisper in Demona’s ear, and the next instant irate green eyes turned her way.  She ignored the redhead; the anger in those green eyes was almost reassuring it was so familiar, and she did have a purpose for being here after all.  The detective motioned toward the empty seat across from her while looking into Kendra’s blue eyes, making it obvious for who she intended the invitation.  The blue eyes briefly narrowed further before turning away from her.  Elisa’s dark eyes widened as she saw the reassuring look the black haired woman gave Demona before leaning over and whispering in the redhead’s ear.  Whatever Kendra said to the redhead wiped out the anger that had been there previously as if it had never been and replaced it with a joyful, pleased smile.

 

Elisa sucked in a sharp, shocked breath at the transformation in the human appearing gargoyle’s expression, she could think of only one reason for such an abrupt change.  As incredible as it seemed, it was looking more and more likely that the two were lovers.  “Jalapena,” she whispered to herself, if she was right this was going to set the clan on its ear.  Everyone, including her, thought they knew who Demona was, if this were true it shattered all those assumptions to small pieces.

 

 

Just after Sunset - Wyvern Castle atop the Eyrie Building, Upper Manhattan

 

“Goliath,” Elisa greeted the lavender male as soon as he shattered the stone shell surrounding him, “Kendra agreed to come over tonight.  She should be here soon.”  The other clan members jumped down from their perches and came over to join them.  Elisa decided not to mention her suspicions to him for now.  For one thing, she didn’t have any more concrete proof for him than the Xanatos’ that Demona and Kendra Canmore were lovers, and secondly she didn’t want to mention it in front of the other’s especially Angela.  One just didn’t announce publically and without any advance warning that you thought their mother was bisexual.

 

“Good,” he responded with a pleased expression, “how did she react when you invited her?”

 

She grimaced remembering the conversation; Kendra hadn’t been very happy with Elisa’s presence there and hadn’t become much friendlier when she learned why the detective had called her over.  “Not too pleased at first,” she confessed, “she thought we wanted to talk with her about Demona’s past.”

 

Brooklyn’s eyes glowed briefly white at her statement and the beaked male looked as if he wanted to say something, but a quick sharp look from Goliath dissuaded him.  “Hmm,” the clan leader rumbled, “I do not think that is necessary now, though she should know what Demona has done in the past.”

 

“I would think so,” the reddish male couldn’t resist mumbling loudly, earning himself a quick narrowed eyed glance from Goliath.

 

“I don’t think that would go over very well,” Elisa cautioned both of them.  “Her first words to me were that there was nothing we could tell her that would cause her to rethink her friendship with Dominique and we shouldn’t even bother to try because she doubted we could tell her anything that Dominique hadn’t already.”  She remembered looking over at Demona in disbelief after Kendra’s statement and the lifted chin and cool, confident gaze of the redhead that seemed to be say that they could do their worst and it wouldn’t accomplish anything.  “I don’t think she was lying, I think Demona’s told her about her past.”

 

Goliath and the others stared at her with varying amounts of disbelief.  Angela was the first to speak, asking hesitantly, “Mother’s told her about the things she’s done?”  The detective could see by the frown on the lavender female’s face that she struggled to understand what could have prompted such unusual honesty from Demona.

 

“I doubt she’s told her everything,” Brooklyn stated in a grim tone.  “Demona doesn’t even know what the truth is,” he scoffed, “she’s still blaming the humans at the castle instead of herself for the clan’s destruction.”

 

“No she is not,” Goliath said, his eyes briefly meeting his daughter’s, “Demona has told Angela that she accepts it was her actions that lead to our clan being killed by the Vikings.”

 

“You’re joking,” Brooklyn blurted out, incredulously.  Everyone’s attention was now on Brooklyn, except for Angela who was still largely ignoring the beaked male.  Elisa saw the way the female gargoyle frowned at her father and wondered why.

 

Owen Burnett’s blonde head, as he came up the stairwell to the battlements, caught the detective’s eye.  She watched him as he came over to the group, “Ms. Canmore has arrived,” he announced in his characteristic cool tones.  “Mr. and Mrs. Xanatos wish to ask questions of her as well.  They request that everyone gather in the dining hall where it is warm and refreshments can be provided so that the conversation appears to be more of a discussion rather than an interrogation.”

 

Elisa scowled at him, she knew Xanatos was right, but the blonde man didn’t need to deliver the man’s message in such a superior tone.

 

Angela was very curious to meet the human that seemed to have gained her mother’s trust and friendship.  The night they had watched the broadcast of the Quarrymen’s attack on her mother the young female had seen what Kendra Canmore looked like and how well she fought, but that certainly didn’t prepare Angela for the power and confidence the human projected as the blue-eyed woman watched the clan enter the dining hall.  She had a drink of some amber liquid with ice in her hand, and she took a sip from it before setting it down on the table as they came nearer.

 

“You must be Goliath,” the woman’s voice and expression carried overtones of disapproval as she greeted the clan leader.

 

The young lavender female’s dark eyes widened slightly and she looked nervously back and forth between her father and the human woman.  “I am,” Goliath’s eyes were narrowed as he stared at Kendra Canmore, it was enough to usually cower most humans.  The brilliant blue eyes of the woman however, didn’t waver away from the big lavender male’s and she didn’t look impressed, if anything her expression seemed to say that she was confident that she would win if there were any battle between them.  The human woman rolled her shoulders, the tight dark blue turtleneck she was wearing showing the flex of the well-developed muscles underneath the fabric, her blue gaze hardened and a dangerous seeming smile played on her lips.

 

“Thank you for coming,” Elisa’s overly loud voice broke the staring match between the two.  “Goliath is, as you probably already know, the clan’s leader, and this is Brooklyn his second in command,” she started introducing the rest of the clan members.  It didn’t escape Angela’s notice that Kendra gave Brooklyn an even chillier look than her father had received.  “Angela,” Elisa introduced the lavender female, the blue-eyed woman’s expression noticeably warmed and Angela returned the smile she got from the human.  “Broadway and Hudson,” the detective introduced the large aqua male and the oldest gargoyle.  Kendra gave both males evaluating looks and then returned their greetings.

 

There was only one gargoyle left to introduce, “You must be Lexington,” the blue-eyed woman said with a warm smile before Elisa could introduce the web-winged gargoyle.  “Demona talked about you when we were traveling across Canada; she told me that you have an unusual gift in understanding electronics and computers.”

 

“She did?” the smallest male looked both surprised and pleased by the compliment.

 

“She did,” Kendra confirmed, with a grin.

 

“Now that the introductions are done,” said Xanatos watching the scene with obvious interest, “perhaps we can all sit down now and get to know each other a bit better.”

 

Kendra glanced over at him, and nodded, “Indeed, why don’t we get this started, I don’t want to be all night at this.  No offense, but I would like to get home in time for dinner if possible.”  She pulled out the chair nearest where she had sat her glass on the table and sat down in it.

 

As she seated herself in the chair nearest her, Fox asked before anyone else could comment, “Home to have dinner with Demona?” 

 

Something about the way the redheaded woman said it reminded Angela of the fact that the Xanatos’ thought Kendra and her mother were lovers.  Angela saw no reason to doubt her father’s assertion that there were no gay gargoyles, but if there were, the idea of her mother involved with another female didn’t really bother her, just like those gay humans they rescued hadn’t bothered her.  She thought it unlikely given that her mother had been with only males previously, her father and her father’s clone Thailog.  A human mate though, that seemed impossible to the younger female, the one constant about her mother was that she hated humans.  Angela couldn’t really believe that Demona would ever take one as a mate.  Of course, she had to admit to herself, until recently she could hardly believe that her mother had become friends with a human either, much less multiple humans as it now seemed.

 

The blue-eyed woman stared at Fox measuringly for a moment before answering, “Yes, along with Robert, Rachael, Margaret, and I believe Demona invited Macbeth over for dinner tonight.”

 

David Xanatos took a seat by his wife, “Demona seems to be getting along well with Macbeth these days,” he observed.  Angela noticed the frown on her father’s face at the Xanatos’ asking questions, but he didn’t say anything and she guessed he was curious to know the answer.

 

Kendra shrugged, “They used to be friends before the Weird Sisters decided they should be enemies, they’re just rebuilding that.”  The blue-eyed woman stared at David Xanatos with apparent calmness, but the watching female gargoyle caught the hint of watchful stillness to the way she leaned back casually in the chair and the intentness of her gaze.

 

Going back to her previous thoughts of her mother having human friends, now that she had met Kendra, Angela could see why her mother might make an exception and befriend this human.  Everything about the human woman, from the confidence she projected in what she obviously saw as unfriendly territory, to the way she moved and the evident strength in her muscled body announced that she was a warrior.  Even lounged as she was now in her chair, Angela had the impression the human could be standing and ready for an attack before anyone else barely moved.

 

“And yet Demona believed he was going to betray her and betrayed him first, she doesn’t make friends with humans,” Brooklyn’s said challengingly, “so what’s her real reason for pretending to be friends with him this time?  Is she after his money again?”

 

“Brooklyn!” Goliath, Hudson and Elisa said loudly and disapprovingly, almost all at the same time.

 

“No, you can’t trust her,” he reddish male argued, “This is all another scheme of Demona’s,” Angela frowned at how desperate and pleading Brooklyn sounded.  “Remember what she did to me and to Angela.  She’ll trick us into trusting her and then she’ll betray us just like she always has before,” he insisted.

 

Goliath frowned at him, his disappointment obvious “Brooklyn,” he shook his head, “We will talk about this more later, for now you will…”

 

Kendra interrupted him, “This is who you’ve selected as the next clan leader?” she asked him contemptuously, “Someone who’s so ruled by his fear of getting hurt again that he can’t consider there’s any other possibility than this must be another scheme of Demona’s?”

 

The big lavender male whipped around to face her, his eyes glowing white at her words, and Broadway protested angrily, “Hey, Brooklyn’s a good clan second!”

 

“Poor Brooklyn,” Kendra said mockingly, rising from her chair and ignoring all of them except for the clan second, “poor, poor gargoyle so cruelly betrayed by his mentor,” the reddish gargoyle glared back at her his eyes beginning to glow white.  Her tone changed abruptly from mocking to sternly disapproving, “You’re wearing that badge of betrayal out,” she said as she stalked toward him, to all appearances not afraid of him at all.  “Demona might accept that as an excuse for what you did the other night,” the black haired woman stopped in front of Brooklyn her fisted hands on her waist and stared coldly at him, “but I don’t.”  The glow in Brooklyn’s eyes faded and he actually took a few steps back from her.  “Robert could have been hurt very badly as a result of that stunt you pulled, as it was it was only his aunt stopping his uncle from kicking him as he laid on the floor helpless to protect himself that prevented just that from happening.”

 

The beaked male looked shocked and appalled, “What?”  Brooklyn looked over at Elisa, “Is that true?”

 

Reluctantly the detective nodded, “Robert’s aunt stopped her husband from attacking him, but it could have gotten very ugly very quickly.  It was a good thing Demona called 911 and had them send the local police over.”

 

“What is she talking about,” asked Broadway confused.  Angela wondered that as well, she had no idea what they were talking about, why had Robert’s uncle attacked him and what did Brooklyn have to do with it?  She noticed that Hudson and Lexington did not look confused, and glancing around the room it seemed that only she and Broadway of the clan didn’t know what was going on.  Why had they been left out Angela wondered angrily.

 

“I’m wondering that as well,” David Xanatos commented, staring at Brooklyn, “How did you get Robert’s number?” he asked curiously, his eyes going to the blonde man standing nearby.

 

“He did not obtain it from me,” Owen responded immediately.

 

“I overheard you and Owen talking about his aunt and uncle,” the reddish male confessed, “all I needed were their names and where they lived to get the number from information.”

 

Xanatos’ eyebrow rose, “Surprising, I don’t think I’ve seen you use anything other than the communication devices Detective Maza brought you.”

 

“Yea, it was only my second or third time using the phone,” the reddish male didn’t sound too thrilled.  Brooklyn turned his attention back to the woman standing in front of him, his wings drooping with his dismay.  “I never meant for him to get hurt,” he apologized.

 

Kendra shook her head, her expression stern, “You never know how someone’s going to react to being told that someone is gay, you played a game of chance with Robert’s safety and you lost and put him in danger.”

 

“You told Robert’s uncle that he was gay?”  Angela stared at Brooklyn in confusion, why would he have done such a thing?  He had been there when they had saved those two men from those attacking them just because they were gay; he knew, or should have known, how violent some humans could be about that.

 

“No,” Brooklyn shook his head sounding appalled, “I told him that Demona was gay and was with her,” he indicated Kendra with a taloned finger.

 

“Why would you do that?” Broadway asked him, “You know Demona isn’t gay.”  Angela immediately noticed the frowning look Kendra shot the potbellied male at his response and wondered at it, the human had barely reacted to learning what Brooklyn had said to Robert’s uncle.  Of course, she probably already knew what the clan second had said, decided Angela.

 

“I was trying to get Robert’s uncle to stop Robert from seeing Demona anymore,” the reddish male answered, “I don’t know why he got angry and jumped to the conclusion that Robert was gay.”

 

“Because the only reason to hang around gay people is if you’re gay yourself,” Lexington answered before anyone else could.  To the curious stares he got in response he hurriedly explained, “I did some research after we saved those two humans.”

 

After a quick intent look at him, Kendra confirmed, “And you’re right it’s not an unusual assumption in a certain group of people, even though it’s a wrong one.  You can have gay friends without being gay, but the bigots like Edward Collins can’t make that distinction since they wouldn’t have any themselves therefore they can’t imagine that other people who aren’t gay would have gay friends.”  She turned her attention from Lexington back to Brooklyn, her expression turning sternly disapproving again, “Which is what you failed to recognize.  You figured out that he was bigoted enough to stop Robert from having anything to do with us if he thought we were gay, but didn’t think about the fact that he was bigoted enough to assume that Robert had to be as well since Robert wanted to be around us.”

 

“I didn’t realize he would do that,” Brooklyn responded defensively.

 

“Enough,” rumbled Goliath commandingly, “I have already spoken to him about this matter.”

 

Kendra stared at Brooklyn for a few seconds longer before neatly pivoting away from him to face the clan leader, “Fine, then let’s discuss the fact that wasn’t the only time he’s shown poor judgment and critical thinking skills,” she said in a terse tone.  “Something that in the case I’m thinking of was shared by all of you except for Angela who wasn’t here yet.”

 

The annoyed sounding rumble from her father, followed by his standing taller and snapping his wings slightly further out, didn’t surprise Angela.  She suspected he thought he would be asking Kendra Canmore questions about Demona and trying to get answers from the human woman, not defending the clan to her because of what Brooklyn had done, and it was frustrating him.

 

Everyone usually backed down from her father when he did that, he was large and intimidating when he was angry.  Instead of daunting Kendra Canmore however, his actions seemed to annoy her even more.  She strode over to stand right in front of him, “You’re posturing and growling does not impress me,” she said, her voice chillily angry.  The two of them stared at one another in a silent battle of wills; Angela could see that Kendra was several inches shorter and slighter than Goliath, yet somehow the human woman didn’t seem that much smaller than her father.  She saw the woman’s blue eyes narrow and suddenly her instincts started warring with what her brain was telling her.  Her eyes started glowing red as instinct informed her that the human was a threat to her father and that she should protect him, and yet the woman was unarmed and not making any move to attack him.  To Angela’s surprise, her father blinked, the brief white glow of his eyes fading as quickly as it had appeared, and backed up a pace first, giving the human female a startled look.

 

As suddenly as the tense moment began, it was over.  Kendra’s stance relaxed and she gave the large male an almost sympathetic look, “Very few beings intimidate me,” she said matter of factly, “I wouldn’t feel bad that you are not one of them if I were you.  Now, what were we about to discuss before we got into that small pissing contest?”  Ignoring the dumfounded look he gave her, she frowned thoughtfully for a second, “Oh yes,” the frown cleared, “Demona’s so called attempt to take over the clan by casting a spell on you to control your mind,” her voice still had an edge, but it was much less than it had been before.

 

No one immediately responded to Kendra’s statement, everyone just stared at her, still trying to adjust from the tenseness of the confrontation a moment before to the blue-eyed woman’s almost relaxed attitude now.  Elisa was the first one to get her wits back and protest, “So called?  I was there, she did do that, it was only us telling Goliath to act as if he had no spell on him that broke it.”

 

Kendra looked away from Goliath toward the detective, “And exactly what chance of success did that plan have?” she asked her sarcastically.  “Was there ever really any possibility of Demona coming up with Goliath so obviously mind controlled and having the clan go…’Yea ok, turning over the clan leadership to Demona sounds like a fine idea to me?’  As plans go that one had a zero chance of success from the very beginning, and it doesn’t really say much that none of you thought about that when it took me about two minutes to realize it when Demona told me about it.”

 

Elisa had an odd look on her face, and only briefly glared at Kendra for her sarcastic statements before saying, “You’re saying that Demona knew the effects of the spell.”

 

“The green eye glow and zombie like voice?  Yes,” Kendra replied.  There was a flash of anger, “Another thing the Weird Sisters have to pay for,” she growled.  Angela had the impression that had the human woman been a gargoyle, her eyes would have glowed brightly red.  Kendra turned toward Brooklyn, “So the grudge you’ve been holding all this time because Demona used you to try and take over the clan…you might want to rethink that entire matter.”  The lavender female was finding the rapid changes of the human’s moods from angry, to mocking to light hearted disconcerting, of course, she wasn’t certain that the blue-eyed woman wasn’t doing it on purpose just for that reason.

 

“You’re claiming that what she did is the Weird Sisters’ fault?”  Angela almost sighed at the familiar doubtful tone of the clan’s second.  At least he didn’t sound quite as skeptical as he had in the past.

 

“Claiming?” Kendra turned to frown at him, “No, I’m saying it is,” she stated firmly.

 

“It is likely,” Owen commented, gaining everyone’s instant attention, “I noticed several control spells on Demona when I placed the transformation spell on her.”

 

“What?” Brooklyn was only the first to utter the question, followed by the rest of the clan, Elisa and Fox in a veritable chorus.  Angela noticed that Kendra Canmore did not look surprised by the information Owen had just revealed.  Almost as if sensing the gargoyle watching her, Kendra’s brilliantly colored blue eyes turned her way, the human woman’s gaze met hers for a long moment before her attention turned back to the rest of the clan. 

 

“You didn’t mention this before,” David Xanatos did not sound pleased, “The other day when we went to see her would have been a very good time.”

 

“I judged the situation too potentially dangerous to mention it before,” the fey in human form commented tersely.  That had almost everyone staring at him questioningly.  “I did mention that they took a dim view of anyone opposing them, and that Oberon has in the past shown little interest in disciplining them for their actions.”  The blonde man pointed out, sounding almost passionate, “I did not dare expose any of you to their notice.”

 

“What would they have done,” asked Fox, she sounded as if she already suspected she would not like the answer.

 

“Since the Weird Sisters do not want Queen Titania as an enemy, they probably would have cast a spell to make you and Mr. Xanatos forget what I had told you.”  Owen responded tersely, “As for everyone else, they most likely would have done the same.”  He paused for half a second before adding evenly, “I could not be certain of that however, as they have chosen to kill mortals in the past for knowing things they didn’t want known.  At that time, the clan didn’t even have the protection of Queen Titania’s interest in them protecting Alexander to sway them that their actions would be noticed and an explanation demanded.  Afterward they would have come after me for interfering with their plans.”

 

Puck’s response to Fox’s question didn’t surprise Angela, though she could see that Brooklyn, Broadway, Lexington and Hudson were shocked.  Of course, they hadn’t been on Avalon when the three sisters had tried to use her mother and Macbeth to kill the Avalon clan.  Nor had they been there when the Weird Sisters had tried to trick Oberon into doing the same thing.  They really should be less shocked though, after learning that the Weird Sisters had arranged everything that had happened the night her mother had changed the city’s humans into stone, simply so that they had a reason Oberon would accept for controlling Demona and Macbeth.

 

“So telling us about the spells on Demona would have put the clan and Elisa and you in danger,” Fox summarized, “and perhaps even David and I.”

 

“Correct,” he confirmed his usual cool unaffected demeanor firmly back in place.

 

“Is that why you’ve never treated Demona as a serious threat?”  Elisa asked Owen slowly.  From the dawning realization in her expression, it was clear to Angela that the detective was beginning to make sense of his past actions, “Because you knew that the spells they cast on her were influencing her actions?”

 

“That and I knew some of her history,” he admitted.

 

Elisa’s tone turned interrogating, “What exactly did those spells make her do?” 

 

Uncharacteristically the blonde man looked embarrassed, “I do know that one of them amplified her anger…the rest I’m not as certain what they did, they were like no other fey spells I’ve seen before or since.  From their appearance, I believe they manipulated Demona’s emotions and thoughts in certain circumstances,” he offered, sounding hesitant.

 

“Her anger…,” Elisa’s voice trailed off thoughtfully, “Is that why she seems so calm now?  Well, comparatively that is,” she added, Demona hadn’t looked too pleased with her earlier today.

 

Owen nodded, “The spirits have supposedly removed all fey spells from her, so that would be my guess, detective.”

 

The detective grimaced, her gaze turning toward the blue-eyed woman that had been noticeably silent throughout all of the recent conversation.  Kendra shook her head, “If you had been a puppet on their strings for a thousand years would you care to share how completely they had controlled you or exactly how they had done it?”  She asked the detective instead of answering the unasked question, though in a way it was an answer.  The warmth of her own wings settling around her as she caped them comforted Angela; it distressed her to think of her mother saying these things about herself. 

 

“Thank you for the vote of confidence by the way” Kendra smirked at Owen.  Noticing Elisa’s confused look the blue-eyed woman explained, “I’m assuming he’s telling you now instead of earlier because he’s certain Demona and I will successfully deal with those three fey.”

 

“That would be best,” the blonde man agreed calmly.

 

Brooklyn looked back and forth between Kendra and Owen, his uncertainty and doubt easy to see in his expression.  Angela was relieved to see it; the beaked male had become very annoying lately with his thickheaded determination to believe the worst of her mother.

 

“If she knew it wouldn’t work, then why did she do that?” he asked, his voice ragged with suppressed emotion.  Angela stared at him in surprise; she hadn’t realized that what her mother had done to him had hurt him so badly.

 

“An intelligent question,” Kendra responded, her tone unexpectedly gentle considering how she had spoken to him until now.

 

“That’s all you’re going to say?” Brooklyn said angrily when it became clear the blue-eyed woman wasn’t going to say anything else, “An intelligent question?”  Kendra nodded, her expression regretful.

 

“The answer’s getting too close to those specific how and why’s Demona isn’t interested in sharing isn’t it?”  David Xanatos commented, stroking his beard thoughtfully.

 

Kendra didn’t respond, and her expression gave nothing away, but that in itself was an answer Angela realized.  “It is, isn’t it?  That’s why you won’t say anything, because mother doesn’t want you to answer these types of questions.”  The woman’s blue eyes swung her way, studying her, the woman’s’ brow rose and her lips quirked in a small smile.  Her look seemed a challenge.

 

Hudson’s commented, “The only thing she did was turn Brooklyn against her.  He looked up to her, trusted her before that, afterward…” the old gargoyle shook his head, his hands resting upon the thick belt around his waist.

 

“They were to make sure we remained alone, that we had no ties to anyone but each other,” Brooklyn said, as if to himself. 

 

Angela along with everyone else, including Kendra Canmore, stared at him with varying expressions of puzzlement.  The lavender female frowned as she tried to remember when she had heard those words.  Then it came to her, Macbeth had said that the night the clan went to ask him why he and Demona were no longer enemies.  Dumbfounded, she said incredulously, “That’s one of the things Macbeth said the Archmage told the Weird Sisters.”

 

“Just because I didn’t believe what Macbeth said, it didn’t mean I wasn’t listening,” Brooklyn replied defensively.

 

“Well, well, perhaps there is something to you after all,” Kendra commented, giving the reddish male an assessing stare that had him straightening up and staring defiantly back at her.  His effort elicited only an amused smile from the blue-eyed woman.

 

Goliath, who had been watching Kendra Canmore as if she were a puzzle he was trying to figure out ever since their brief confrontation, gave a thoughtful sounding rumble that drew the blue-eyed woman’s attention away from the clan’s second.  “Demona drove us away from her,” Goliath said once he had her attention, “She freed us from the enchantment the Magus placed on us and then destroyed the clan ties between us starting with those that were strongest, the ones between her and I and Brooklyn.  She told me of her betrayal of our clan and attacked me, and then she betrayed Brooklyn’s trust.”  He stared at Kendra questioningly, “The Weird Sisters caused her to do this because the Archmage wanted her to remain alone?”

 

“That would seem to be the obvious conclusion, wouldn’t it,” the blue-eyed woman responded evenly.  She could have been doing her impersonation of Owen her expression was so inscrutable.

 

The big male narrowed his eyes, “Why will you not just tell us the answer?” he rumbled in an annoyed tone.

 

“I’ve already told you that Demona isn’t interested in sharing the details of exactly what the Weird Sisters did,” Kendra replied firmly.

 

“It is obvious that you do not agree with her,” Goliath said, staring at the blue-eyed woman challengingly.  Angela silently agreed with her father, it did seem as if Kendra wanted them to find out what the Weird Sisters had done to her mother.

 

“Agree, disagree,” Kendra shrugged, appearing completely unconcerned, “It’s not my decision to make.”  The blue-eyed woman didn’t look as if she would change her mind or give them any more information, and Goliath finally gave a frustrated sounding growl when she didn’t say anything else.

 

“Even if what she’s done since we were awakened has all been because of the Weird Sisters, she’s still responsible for the clan’s massacre,” Brooklyn stated stubbornly.  His arms were crossed and he had a sullen look on his face, “The Weird Sisters weren’t controlling her back then.”  Angela sighed quietly; irritated with him once again, he seemed stubbornly determined not let go of his anger towards her mother.

 

Kendra turned toward the reddish beaked male; she stared at him, her head slightly tilted to the side, for a moment before shaking her head and smirking.  “Darn it, I know she’s responsible for something!” the blue-eyed woman said with a stomp of her foot.  Angela had to hide her smile as Brooklyn glared at Kendra for mocking him.  “Thank you for bringing that up though,” Kendra sounding and looking quite sincere.  The reddish male gave her a wary look that elicited a soft chuckle from the blue-eyed woman.

 

She turned toward Goliath, “Speaking of the clan’s massacre, and what I’ve heard is your habit of placing all the blame for it on Demona…” her eyes narrowed as her expression hardened, “What a load of complete and utter bullshit.  There are several people, including yourself and Hudson, that contributed to that situation coming to a head as it did, Demona is hardly solely responsible for it.”

 

Angela stared uncertainly between Kendra and her father, as she stared at him disapprovingly and he glared back at her.  “What do you mean I’m partially responsible for it,” Hudson asked quickly, interrupting the staring match before it could perhaps turn into something more.

 

With one final hard look, Kendra turned her attention to the older gargoyle, “You let the humans get away with forgetting why the castle was built in the first place, and you took on additional duties not originally agreed upon in the clan’s agreement with Prince Malcolm.”  She explained, “In exchange for helping Malcolm’s brother, Kenneth II, in his battle against Culen to regain his throne and become King of Scotland, Prince Malcolm and his people were to protect the clan.  Correct?” she asked.

 

Hudson gave her a long look, “Demona did tell you about her past didn’t she,” he said thoughtfully.

 

“She has,” Kendra confirmed with a minimum of words.

 

The older male nodded, “That was the agreement between Prince Malcolm and the clan in exchange for our help in their battle against Culen,” he agreed slowly.

 

“Then Malcolm persuaded you to have the clan help them build this castle so that they could fulfill that promise.”  Kendra indicated the stone walls of the room, “This castle was built with the clan’s help so that Prince Malcolm could fulfill his promise to protect the clan and the rookery.”  She shook her head, “It wasn’t built so that the human’s had better protection during the day while the clan protected them at night in exchange for being allowed to continue to live there.  That was your error, letting the humans forget the first and allowing them to believe the second.  Then Goliath continued to let them believe that, compounding the problem.”

 

The older gargoyle looked as if he had swallowed something sour, “I didn’t know humans that well then,” he admitted.  “Prince Malcolm though never needed reminding,” he defended the long dead human, “he never forgot his promise to us; it was the other humans around him that seemed eager to forget it as soon as the castle was built, that and his daughter.”  Goliath looked shocked at the older male’s words, and Hudson just shook his head looking old and fatigued as he fell silent, refusing to say anything more.  The lavender male frowned at him, looking concerned.

 

“The clan helped build this castle?” Elisa commented filling the abrupt silence that had fallen, “I didn’t know that.”

 

“I did,” David Xanatos commented, a slight smirking smile on his lips, “Demona’s still quite angry about it, or she was at the time when she told me about it.”

 

“I had almost forgotten,” Broadway said, a faraway look in his eyes as he remembered, “I can remember watching Goliath and the other clan members help the humans move the stone blocks into place.”

 

“I knew,” Angela said quietly, “the Princess told us about the agreement between the clan and her father.  That was when she told us she had broken her promise to her father to fulfill his promise to the clan to protect them and that she had treated the clan badly.”

 

“Good for her,” Kendra commented, sounding sincere, “Demona was quite shocked by how different Princess Katherine acted on Avalon from how she remembered her.”

 

Goliath stopped staring at Hudson, turning his attention back to the blue-eyed woman talking to his daughter.  “What role does Demona believe I had in what happened,” he asked her challengingly as soon as she finished speaking.

 

“Both her and I,” Kendra immediately corrected him, “I think there were a few things you could have done to either keep the situation calmer or even improve it, instead of just ignoring what you didn’t want to hear.”

 

His eyes narrowed, “Princess Katherine feared us, but the danger was not as great as Demona believed,” he said dismissively.  “She just needed time to see that we were not the monsters her father scared her with as a child.”

 

The blue-eyed woman shook her head, “It wasn’t just Princess Katherine that was the problem by that time.  It was the entire castle.  The Princess feared and hated you and wasn’t shy about letting everyone know it, and because of that it gave all the rest of the castle inhabitants the reason they needed to let their own fear and doubts about you grow and flourish.  How many times did Demona try to tell you the humans were talking about driving the clan away from the castle?”

 

“Demona never thought the clan’s alliance with the humans was wise,” Goliath said impatiently, “She began worrying about the humans at the castle even before Prince Malcolm died, and her fears only grew after.”

 

“So you thought her fears were unfounded and ignored them?” she didn’t give him time to reply before asking, “How many times though did she try to tell you they were talking about how much food the clan ate and how much better off they would be without you, especially after the refugees started coming in?”  Broadway shifted uneasily and Angela looked at him startled, seeing in his eyes the truth of Kendra’s statement.  She hadn’t realized that the humans at the castle had resented the amount of food the clan needed to eat.

 

“A few times,” the lavender male conceded reluctantly “and I did not think her fears were unfounded, only that patience and tolerance were the best ways to deal the humans instead reacting with anger which would only have increased the danger to our clan.”

 

“I’m not disagreeing with you,” Kendra said calmly, that elicited a surprised look from the clan leader which the blue-eyed woman ignored as she continued without pausing, “I am pointing out though that ignoring Demona’s concerns only drove her to confide in someone else, someone who wasn’t as careful and cautious as you.”

 

“The Captain of the Guard,” it didn’t take Goliath long to guess, and he didn’t look pleased.

 

“How many times did she tell you that they were talking about how much more food and resources the clan would need if the eggs in the rookery were allowed to hatch?”  Kendra asked him instead of responding to his statement, an obvious emphasis on the if in her question. 

 

Angela’s eyes widened in dismay, she could easily imagine how frightened and angry hearing such things would have made her mother.  Goliath frowned, “What?” he eyed the blue-eyed woman dubiously, “Demona never spoke to me about the humans threatening the eggs in the rookery.”

 

Lexington said quietly, “I heard the humans talking about that,” the web-winged gargoyle glanced apologetically toward Angela, “the Magus was one of the ones saying it, he also told people that we were monsters and would attack them some night in their beds.”  The lavender female made a sound of dismayed surprise that made Lexington wince, “I heard the other two things said as well,” he said even more quietly than he had begun.

 

“What?” said Broadway sounding shocked, “I heard the one about us eating too much food, especially after that last group of humans arrived, but I didn’t hear the humans at the castle mentioning the rookery.”

 

“I heard all of them,” Lexington said bitterly, “I was small and the humans either didn’t notice me or didn’t care if I heard them.”

 

Goliath who had been staring at Lexington in dismayed surprise turned toward Kendra, “She did not inform me of any of this,” he rumbled, a deep frown etched upon his face.

 

“I guess by that time, since you hadn’t done anything the times before, the only person Demona mentioned it to was Robbie,” Kendra commented neutrally.

 

His voice raised, the lavender male protested, “She should have told me.”

 

“She should have,” Kendra agreed evenly, “but Robbie listened to her, and didn’t tell her that things would get better if only she were more patient with the humans and Princess Katherine.”  Goliath scowled at her, but the blue-eyed woman merely gave him an unimpressed look before continuing.  “So when she heard the humans talking about the eggs in the rookery, she went to him and asked him to make sure the guards on the rookery during the day weren’t ones that would look the other way if anyone demanded to be let in.  He did as she asked and made sure that only guards that owed their lives to the clan, and didn’t join in on the talk of you being monsters and demons were on guard duty during the day.”

 

Goliath’s scowl had faded as Kendra spoke, now he demanded of her with angry frustration, “What would she have had me do?”

 

Kendra stared at him in silence for a second, her expression firming, “She never felt that you listened to her, either as your clan second or mate, that probably would have been a good place to start.”  The lavender male straightened his previous frustrated expression turning defensive, but before he could respond to her statement she continued, “As for me, I think you should have publically reminded the Princess of the pledge that had been made between the clan and her father and why the castle had been built in the first place.  By allowing Princess Katherine to get away with her behavior, you tacitly acknowledged that the humans had the right to think of the castle as theirs, when in reality, if it had been during this day and age, a good lawyer could have had them in court and removed from the premises for breach of contract.”

 

“If the contract had been written correctly, that’s probably true”, David Xanatos remarked with a grin, surprising everyone since he had been silent for quite a while.  “Is that why Nightstone’s failure to meet the terms of the contract clauses are so harsh?”

 

Kendra’s lips twitched in amusement, “Probably,” she agreed, “I’ve noticed Dominique is pretty strict about meeting contractual obligations.”  She turned back to Goliath who looked a little confused at their banter.  “Before you say anything, let me cover the night that was the breaking point for Robbie and Demona,” she requested of him, “then you can disagree with my version of events if you feel I’m wrong.”

 

Goliath’s eyes narrowed, “Very well,” he rumbled after a second’s thought.

 

“I’m sure you know the night I’m speaking of was the night that you saved the castle from being overrun by the Vikings and Princess Katherine told you beasts had no place in the dining hall while the castle dogs were lying there gnawing on food tossed on the floor,” the blue-eyed woman waited for his nod before continuing.  “It was also the night that Robbie was told to report to the Magus instead of to her.  Now this is pure conjecture on my part, but I’m pretty sure Robbie was smarting over being told to report to a young whelp half his age, and the triumphant look the Magus gave Robbie when the Princess told him to report to the younger sorcerer didn’t help matters any.”  The clan leader looked a little surprised at her knowledge, “I gather you noticed that?” she commented.

 

The lavender male reluctantly nodded, “I did.”

 

Kendra sighed, not looking very happy, “Again this is pure speculation on my part based on what Demona’s told me, but I think that was exactly what the Magus had wanted to happen and what he had been trying to bring about with his whispering campaign against the clan and against Robbie.  He wanted to be her sole advisor, and that night he got his wish.”  Angela stared at the blue-eyed woman disbelievingly, would she say such a horrible thing about the Magus.

 

“Why do you think that?” Elisa challenged her.

 

Kendra turned her head to look at the detective, “Because he wanted to be with her,” she answered, “but a young man of no family would normally have no chance of taking a noble woman as his wife, much less the niece of the King.  A powerful sorcerer who was her sole advisor however, might…”

 

“You’re wrong,” Angela said angrily, interrupting her, “the Magus wasn’t like that, and he wasn’t Princess Katherine’s mate, Guardian Tom was.”

 

“That’s because he felt too guilty to pursue her,” Elisa said, her dark eyes widening, “He admitted to me that he was in love with the Princess, but never approached her after what happened to the clan because he felt responsible for it.”

 

Kendra looked back and forth between the shocked looking lavender female and the detective who looked like she was starting to put things together and didn’t like the answer.  “As I said its only conjecture,” the blue-eyed woman repeated, “but it does fit if he were the one spreading the rumors as Demona believes he was doing.”

 

Lexington remarked quietly, “I already said I heard him doing that, and it wasn’t just one time.”

 

“I did too,” Broadway reluctantly acknowledged with an apologetic look at Angela, “When the humans were complaining about how much food we ate, he was there and he was the one who started talking about it first.”

 

“I heard him talking with the other advisors about how Robbie would side with us against the humans of the castle,” Hudson added, drawing surprised looks, “and him advising that they should remove him from his position as the Captain of the guards because of it.”

 

“Well,” Kendra commented softly, “I guess nothing more really needs to be said about that.”  She met Angela’s confused and disappointed eyes, “He gave his life to save you and the other gargoyles on Avalon.  Whatever he did at the castle, he never intended what happened to happen, and he seems to have tried his best to make up for it in what he did since for you and the others.  Don’t forget that just because of what you’ve heard tonight.”

 

Angela stared at her for several silent seconds, her eyes searching the human’s blue one’s and then nodded, “I won’t,” the lavender female agreed.  She felt torn, she would have never thought that the kindly white haired human who had so patiently taught her and the other’s to read would have been behind so many of the clan’s problems at the castle.

 

“Did Demona forgive him,” Brooklyn asked, his tone challenging.

 

Kendra turned and looked at him, “Last we spoke of it she said she couldn’t forgive him yet,” she answered mildly, “but she couldn’t fault his efforts to atone for what he had done to the clan.”  The reddish male’s beaked mouth gaped almost comically open at her answer.

 

The blue-eyed woman stared at Brooklyn for a second before turning back to Goliath, “To continue on with the events of that night.  Robbie was the one who came up with a plan for dealing with the Princess, the Magus and the other humans in the castle.  He was the one who thought up approaching the Vikings to get them to raid the castle while the gargoyles were away and when he approached her with his plan Demona agreed.  After Goliath refused to take anyone but Hudson with him, Robbie was the one to come up with the idea of having the Vikings attack during the day, swearing to Demona that he would protect the clan from them.”

 

“Demona couldn’t have believed that he could actually protect the clan from the Vikings during the day,” Elisa interrupted, “No one person could have done that.”

 

Kendra inclined her head in agreement, “Demona’s temper cooled down just before dawn.  That was when she realized how dangerous Robbie’s plan was to the clan, but she was too afraid of their reaction to admit what she had done.  Instead, she remained silent and flew down to the beach to spend the day, afraid of what might happen, but hoping that Robbie would keep his word.  He didn’t, and she’s hated herself ever since for being too scared and ashamed to tell the other’s to sleep on the beach with her and face up to the repercussions of agreeing to Robbie’s plan to have the Vikings sack the castle.”

 

The silence stretched on after the blue-eyed woman fell silent, Goliath looked lost in his own thoughts as did Elisa.  Angela shifted uneasily waiting for someone else to say something first, she certainly didn’t know what to say after hearing everything Kendra Canmore had to tell the clan.  “So,” the blue-eyed woman said her voice startlingly loud in the silence, “that’s why I say you’re wrong to only blame Demona for what happened.  To me there seems to be plenty of blame to go around.”

 

All eyes were on Goliath, waiting for the clan leader to respond.  It took several more seconds for the big lavender male to become aware of that fact, and when he did, he took the time to briefly meet each of his clan member’s eyes before finally looking toward Kendra Canmore.  Angela was aware that her father was not happy, he did not like surprises and he didn’t like not being informed of things that affected the clan.  “There was obviously much more happening between the clan and the humans at the castle than I was made aware of,” he rumbled.  “What Demona did was wrong,” he stared hard at Kendra, “but as you say, she is not the only one to blame for what happened.”  He hesitated briefly before offering, “I was wrong to place the blame for what happened solely upon her.”  Angela stared proudly at her father; she could tell that he wasn’t eager to admit that he had been wrong, but he had done it.

 

“That’s all I wanted acknowledgement of,” Kendra said, her voice mild.  She looked at the watch on her wrist; “I need to get going if I’m going to be home in time for dinner.”  Angela stared at her mother’s friend in bemusement; the changes in the blue-eyed woman’s moods were rapid and unpredictable to say the least.

 

“First though,” Kendra said turning toward the smallest member of the clan, “Lexington, you and Robert both have an interest in electronics.  I was wondering if you’d be interested in corresponding with him by email.”

 

“He knows about me?”  The web winged male asked uncertainly.

 

“What?” Kendra looked puzzled for a brief moment before realization dawned, “Oh yes, Robert already knows about the clan, you don’t need to hide who you are from him.  If you’re willing to give me your address, I’ll give it to him so he can contact you.”

 

Lexington looked over toward his clan leader for permission; he didn’t want to do anything to upset Goliath any more than the lavender male was already.  Upon receiving a short nod, the web-wing said, “I’ll write it down for you.  My computer room is just down the hallway I have a pen and some paper there.”

 

“I’ll come with you then,” the blue-eyed woman offered.

 

“Ok,” he offered her a smile before turning and making his way toward one of the wide hallways.

 

Before following Lexington out of the room, Kendra turned and stared at Brooklyn, “Oh and Brooklyn…” her tone wasn’t particularly friendly, “just for the record…I am gay, and despite what you think, gay people are as normal as everyone else.”


 
 
 
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